Overall if you can look past its flaws Maid of Sker provides a fun little romp through a setting haunted by the physical supernatural. Unlocking your path forward can be a rewarding experience but you may need to endure a few trial and errors to get there. The story is serviceable but predictable and is saved by the fantastic realization of the backdrop in which your playing. A serviceable game that will definitely find an audience.
West of Dead is a really enjoyable game that hooks you with its combat. While the idea of starting all over again can be a brutal punishment, particularly when you’ve found yourself nicely upgraded and powerful, the game is fun enough for it to not detract from your enjoyment too much.
Overall Deliver Us The Moon is a solid walking sim puzzle game. With a fantastic atmosphere and a story that keeps you engaged during this 3 to 4 hour campaign. The variation in first and third person perspective is an interesting choice, which really works in the game. The production value of this ambitious title from an independent developer can only be applauded. With good voice acting, sound design and visuals and decent gameplay, this game rises above being ‘just a sci-fi game’ in a convincing way.
Sea of Thieves isn’t for everyone. After all, neither was the life of a Pirate. But if you have the time, the friends and the heart to take it on, it can reward you not just with treasure and glory, but with memories that will stay with you, long after your Pirate Legend has faded into myth.
Streets of Rage 4 is everything I could have wanted in a sequel to such a venerable series that I’ve always held in such high regard. It’s clear that both Lizardcube and Guard Crush get it. They managed to create a sequel that belongs right alongside its predecessors despite having to manage fan expectations and the ever present nostalgia that can inflate people’s memories of the old games, particularly after some three decades and change. It’s a prime example of how to modernise a bygone genre without abandoning the spirit of it, all while capturing the feeling of what made it so special and fun all those years ago. This is an absolutely mandatory play for any Streets of Rage or scrolling beat ’em up fan. I also recommend anyone with a penchant for old school gaming sensibilities to definitely give this a go.
If you enjoy the Gears of War franchise and design then you’ll like this. It feels and looks like a Gears game, from the stupidly overly-macho Gears themselves and their incessant grunting, to the continuous and gory chainsaw kills. If that’s your thing and you’d like an easy entry into turn-based game-play then yes, get this game, play it on an easy difficulty and completely ignore the micromanagement needed through the weapon and squad modifier process. Like the other Gears games, it’s a pretty, if brainless game. If, however, you’re a fan of more complex Turn-Based Strategy games you’re going to feel like a large portion Gears Tactics is either missing or dumbed down so far that it feels completely unfinished. As a veteran of other games in the genre, at every moment this very much felt like babies-first turn-based tactics game. All it needs is for the instruction manual to be printed on thick cardboard with a disclaimer on the back saying ‘these instructions are waterproof and chew-able’.
Overall this game is fun for children and could be fun with friends. I don’t recommend playing this game on your own, but can see how it gets close to the appeal of Human Fall Flat when played with friends or family. If you have younger children, then this game could well be perfect for them. The open world gives children more options, so if a certain task is too difficult, they can move to a different one. The abundance of vehicles and other mechanics to play around with give it enough longevity to last for days – or weeks. Despite some bugs and annoying controls, the game is well worth a try for certain demographics.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is everything any Blind Forest fan would have wanted, or possibly hoped for from a sequel. Moon have created a game that has every right to be in the ‘AAA’ conversation with its 3D counterparts, with a level of care and polish normally reserved for much larger studios and far bigger budgets. Ultimately, it can’t be said enough how incredible Ori and the Will of the Wisps is. Blind Forest was already my personal favourite metroidvania of all time and Will of the Wisps has managed to raise the bar even further.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a wonderfully crafted 4X game with deep tactical combat and a sci-fi world which looks stunning. The different biomes keep the gameplay fresh and the different playable races give the game a slight Total War: Warhammer vibe. While the campaign is interesting, it can be a bit bland at times. The lack of cutscenes to give you that extra little immersion is a pity. Overall this is a fun strategy game to enjoy a slow Sunday evening with.
In lesser hands, this game could have quickly worn out its welcome, but Australian developer House House should be applauded here. What apparently began as a joke between the developers online, has eventually culminated in one of the most memorable games of 2019. Geese are jerks. Go live their dream.